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A People’s History of Grand Rapids: Book Release event at Schuler Books on April 11

March 27, 2023

Since Howard Zinn wrote A People’s History of the United States, there have been numerous books that have used his model to address the history of events of specific groups of people, but always on a national level. 

A People’s History of Grand Rapids is one of the first books that applies a history from below for a specific community. In Smith’s book, people will learn about the struggle of Indigenous, Black and immigrant communities in Grand Rapids, and the organized efforts by workers, women and the LGBTQ community to win greater freedoms and equality. In addition, there are chapters that inform readers of movements against war, environmental destruction, the exploitation of animals and police repression, along with movements for global solidarity. 

A People’s History of Grand Rapids presents readers with a rich tradition of social movements in West Michigan and properly frames their struggles against the systems of power and oppression that each movement was up against. A People’s History of Grand Rapids is a book that counters the official narrative about this community, and it can inspire people by seeing that they have not been alone in the fight for justice where they live.

I will be talking about my book on Tuesday, April 11th, 6:30pm, at the Schuler Books on 28th Street in Grand Rapids. This is a free event and open to the public. You can also purchase a copy of the book that night. Here is a link to more details for the April 11 event at Schuler Books.

You can also purchase a copy of A People’s History of Grand Rapids directly from me. Just send me an E-mail ( if you want to swing by a pick up a copy in person or if you want a copy mailed to you. I also have a PDF version of the book available for $10. 

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